As with so many of my posts from the past year, the inspiration and content of this post comes from my colleague and thought partner, Jack Czajkowski, 8th grade science teacher at GCVS. He reached out in our chat to ask if I had “protocols” I use with my students when I do Jamboards, since he had set an individual goal for himself to try to incorporate more Jamboards into his teaching.
This question made me stop and think. Did I have protocols? How did I get Jamboards to work, because they really did work well over time? Was I only remembering how they worked at the end of the year, after months of practicing, rather than at the start? As I reflected, I tried to capture my thoughts for Jack in a series of “maybe try this” moderated with “although I’m guessing you already have.
- LOTS of public modeling, reflection, and explicit conversations with students – What will _____ (this behavior) actually look like? What responsibility will each of us have to make this successful?
- To be honest, leveraging peer pressure between students to engage in expected behavior – it wasn’t pretty, but I sort of went with it because it was peer pressure like “we’re all working and we need you to work with us.” I did a full-class share each time and I always framed it as “tell us about a positive thing” and I would stop cold any negatives. With that said, I did allow private chats with teachers to share concerns and I did follow up/intervene. I also worked to keep kids separated or paired differently if they were not participating.
- For sure, allowing chat and/or writing on the Jamboard to be praised as participation.
- Sometimes I “modeled” by assigning jobs in a group if things were a hot mess.
- Specifically, as I started Jamboards, I kept the content pretty light (one adding decimals problem, plus work and answer; write the word problem). I also never used a Jamboard for longer than ten minutes in a class. So, maybe a combination of light content and limited time helps.
What ideas have you used to make Jamboards successful? What teaching choices have you made to make their first introductions to a class successful?
As always, it’s an honor, Jack, to be a thought partner as you try new ideas.